[ACCI-CAVIE] Senegal will launch its very first satellite into space in 2023. The project is the result of an MoU signed two years ago with the National Center for Space Studies of France and Ariane Group.
In a recent interview with Le Quotidien, Gayane Faye (pictured) said three students from local engineering schools were sent last year to the Montpellier Space Center for training in space science, as part of the project. Faye is the head of the applied remote sensing lab of the Institute of Earth Sciences (IST) at Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD),
According to him, 10 more people, including 5 technicians and 5 engineers, will be sent to Montpellier. The trainees will be in charge of building Senegal’s nanosatellite. Construction is expected to start in March next year. The launch of this equipment was initially scheduled for this year but the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the process, Faye said. “After this is done, we will work on larger satellites, with other applications, processing and use of data,” he added. The government will use the data collected by the nanosatellite to better monitor bush fires, floods, and erosion, and to develop agriculture.
The project also includes the design, development, and construction of a Center for satellites weighing less than 50 kg (CubeSat). Ultimately, the government aims to create a genuine local ecosystem of scientific research and industrial innovation in the space sector, in partnership with universities and companies.
By Muriel Edjo